Two different not-for-profit organizations are now taking applications for the COVID-19 relief small business grants and utility bill assistance grants created by the city of Statesboro from its federal CARES Act funding.
A third nonprofit is expected to begin taking applications soon for the home mortgage and rent assistance program.
Small business grants
The Business Innovation Group, or BIG, an arm of Georgia Southern University based at its Statesboro City Center downtown, is handling applications for the city’s COVID-19 Business Fund grants, available to qualifying business owners in amounts up to $5,000. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 13, after the window of opportunity opened Nov. 2.
To be eligible a small business must have operated from the same physical location within the Statesboro city limits for at least three months and be a for-profit, retail-oriented company with less than $2 million annual gross revenue. It must be independently owned, have four or fewer locations in Statesboro and have been ordered to close or had significantly reduced business because of a 2020 state of Georgia emergency executive order.
Meanwhile, Action Pact, the agency previously known as Concerted Services, is taking applications for the city-created grants for Statesboro utility customers struggling to pay water, sewer, natural gas and electric bills. The grants, in amounts up to $175 per applicant, are meant for people experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Action Pact’s call center is open 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at (912) 489-1604.
The United Way of Southeast Georgia will administer the Rental and Mortgage Assistance Fund, providing up to a maximum $3,000 per family. This fund is meant to help Statesboro residents who are struggling with paying rent or have fallen behind on their mortgage payments because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of midday Monday, the application for the rent and mortgage grants had not been released. City Public Information Officer Layne Phillips said it should be soon but that United Way was working out a few details.
City Council established these three programs Oct. 20, budgeting $75,000 each to the business and utility funds and $100,000 to the rent and mortgage fund, for a total of $250,000, from the $1.7 million in federal funding the city received under the federal CARES Act, for “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security,” enacted in March.